It's all over now, the final big amateur race of the year is in the books and the 39th Annual THOR Winter National Olympics, presented by Pro Circuit, is history. With quite a few surprise winners, some disappointments and an equal amount of quite predictable results, the racing was great in both disciplines all week. With perfect weather to accompany two perfect tracks, 2010 will go down as one of the best Mini-O's in recent memory.
Let's start with who won the coveted Industry Awards at this year's event, which are provided to the top combined motocross and supercross scores in Amateur, Pro/Am, Youth and other categories. Following, you'll find a list of class champs along with a link for all of the results from the entire week of racing.
JUSTIN BOGLE: DUNLOP SILVER TIRE (Top Pro/Am)
MX: 250 A/Pro-Am Mod and Open A/Pro-Am Stock
SX: 250 A/Pro-Am Mod
DAKOTA ALIX: FOX BRONZE BOOT (Top Minicycle) AND PRO CIRCUIT PLATINUM PIPE
MX: 85cc (14-15) Stock and Mod
SX: 85cc (14-15) Stock and Mod
CLAUDIO LEOCATA: SCOTT GOLDEN GOGGLE (Top Amateur)
MX: Youth (12-16) Stock
SX: Youth (12-16) Mod
Supercross class winners:
Motocross Class Winners:
Link to full results: http://minio2010.tracksideresults.com/class.asp
A couple of months back, we (well, I) decided to hook up with AMA Pro motocrosser Willy Browning for his jaunt from central Ohio up to Unadilla, NY for Round 9 of the Lucas Oils Nationals. The life of a privateer, which Mr. Browning most certainly is, has always been intriguing for motocross fans everywhere so when the chance came up to be a fly on the wall, I figured "sure, what the hell. I can slum it for a weekend with this kid and see what he's all about." Being a fly on the wall in such circumstances means a couple of things, or so I thought, and mainly it's that I wouldn't have to drive and I could get all of my work done on the way home from a long weekend of shooting pics. Unadilla or, more correctly, New Berlin, NY is about a 9 hour car ride at high speed. In our rig, we were looking at more like 12. The rig itself is a GM based Weekend Warrior, with a nicely setup garage area and a fridge well stocked with a shockingly good selection of brews. It's owner is crazy BOB MURRAY, who at the prodding of his longtime girlfriend Melissa, decided to help Willy out beginning last year by getting him to the races, doing a bit of wrenching on bikes, and for the most part covering expenses. Damn nice couple of people right here, no doubt about that. Read on for the painful details of what is involved in scoring a national point for a rider that's been on the verge of success for several years now...
Getting loaded up at Bob's house in 90 degree heat and equally high humidity, Willy pushes one of his Munn Racing-supplied KTM250 SXF's, which he got not for free, but at a fair discount. Munn helps out a few privateers, not only by providing bikes but some engine mods, rebuilds and discounted parts. Willy has a bone stock practice bike and a race bike, which has a few engine mods, an FMF pipe and suspension work done by an unnamed source. He says the race engine blows away the stocker, and generally likes the KTM after having ridden Hondas last year (and in Arenacross), and Suzukis prior to that.
After getting loaded up and leaving a mere 4 hours behind schedule, we headed on up the beautiful and incredibly long state of New York, stopping around Elicottville to go for a bit of a mountain bike ride. Getting to the general area of the trails was one thing, but finding them was another -- especially on forest service roads in a motorhome. We finally just pulled off to the side when we saw a trail crossing and unloaded the bikes -- it was about 7:30pm on Thursday at this point, so time was not on our side.
We got into the woods and put the hammer down for a little while until the slick roots caught up with one of us. Here's Willy, trying to use arm power as opposed to leg strength to get him through a tricky little upstate NY bit of singletrack. The kid can ride a mountain bike (and road bike, and 20") there's no doubt, and he's finally gotten over the need to try and hop his way through the woods like a BMX'er. If he ever gives up moto, look for Browning to hook it up on a mountain bike, for sure
After getting back to the rig about 20 minutes after it was too late to see anything in the woods, we headed back toward Elicottville looking for some grub. With it being around 9:30pm on a weeknight, and Elicottville being a fairly sleepy little town this time of year, we struck out miserably. Ultimately we ended up getting back onto the highway and finding a casino on an Indian reserve that still had a late night restaurant open inside, so we went for it. What's a privateer eat for a post-mountain-biking 10pm dinner two days before a National? Beef stroganoff (or beef strokinoff). That's Bob on the left here, as the boys pose before a fine statue in the casino. Yes, one of us lost money while there, but I won't say who...
Another few hours up the road, Bob decided he'd had enough and wanted to get a hotel for the night. To us, this made no sense as A) we were in a motor home that was plenty comfy to sleep in and B) it was 3AM when we pulled in to check on rooms. Bob balked at $90, considering we'd planned on getting on the road by 7, so he came back into the rig and we slept in the parking lot. Only 3 hours to go to Dilla!
Willy does a fair bit of the driving, but it's Bob that does the bulk and that's partially because Willy's A.D.D. sets in about 5 minutes after getting behind the wheel and he can't sit through a single tune on his iPod, or be happy with a single texting session at a time, or even a single phone call. The boy's got issues, but in this pic I caught Bob doing the same thing...
So, arriving at the track around noon'ish Friday is always the goal for these guys, and Bob delivered his boy right on time. With tech inspection opening up in just a couple of hours, they had their work cut out for them: Unload the rig, setup the pit, swap plastic on the bikes, put a front brake on the race bike, put an air filter in, get new tires mounted, and a million other things before tech closed at 5pm. No problem, right?
Willy gets the sweet graphics kits on his bikes from DZ Graphics. That cooler on the left has an ice cold mini keg of Heineken in it. Willy wasn't allowed to have any.
The decision to swap out the sub-frame at the track was one made by Willy, and it was a poor one. He'd had a few mm removed from the practice bike's subframe (he's vertically challenged) earlier in the week and decided he liked it, so onto the race bike it was to go. Of course, that decision was made after the wheels were off and the crappy plastic stand that he brought absolutely would NOT hold the bike up no matter how many sticks he tried to put under the frame to prop it up. I felt like I should be helping, but a fly on the wall wouldn't typically lend a hand, so I just stood back and chuckled. Kids these days...
After suffering through the subframe shuffle, Bob walked back over to Dunlop (who provide the #90 with a fresh set of rubber for every round he comes to, big thanks to the Dunlop guys for that!) to check on the progress. Unfortunately, the tire techs noticed a missing spoke in the rear wheel and wouldn't mount a tire on the rim. With just a couple hours before tech closed, the race was on to find a spoke.
Our first thought was to find Ricky Renner, who also got KTM's through Munn Racing's program. For the Nationals, Ricky worked out of the Warthog Racing rig, so we headed over there. Chris Parsons, who manages/drives/does everything else at the races for WWR, had been pitching the idea to Willy all summer to come and race for WWR for the 2011 Supercross season. While clearly intrigued by his offer, Willy was more interested in getting a spoke and getting through tech and when he saw Ricky wasn't around, we pedaled off to find another KTM rider.
Just up the way was Tevin Tapia's pit area. Tevin also rides a KTM250 SXF, but according to his mechanic (who's name escapes me but who is an incredibly nice guy), they don't run the stock wheelset and their spokes wouldn't fit Willy's wheel. Strike 2.
Off to the KTM factory rig we went, where our interaction was so short I didn't even have time for a photo. The conversation went something like this: "Hi, do you guys have a spoke for a 250F back wheel?"... "For a stock wheel? Hahaha, no." Goodbye. Next up was the Champion Cycles pit (shown here), and without even getting out of his chair, the guy knew - nope, no single spokes for rear wheels. How could this be??
Finally, and just about the time we were to lose hope and swap out the practice bike wheel (with a dented rim and the wrong sprocket on it), we stumbled upon another KTM 250 in the pits - this time belonging to rookie Killy Rusk, who was making his pro debut at Unadilla. BINGO! His Dad coughed up a single spoke, and with a wave of thank-you's, we were off to Bob's rig and over another hurdle for the day.
Back to Dunlop we went, myself and Bob "I'm NOT a mechanic!" Murray, to put a spoke in the rear wheel so they'd mount a tire to it. Done, and done.
While suffering through the spoke search, we also realized a key item that was missing -- hand guards. Unadilla's is infamous for it's rocks, and every other bike we saw in the pits was running hand guards, so this also became an object of desire. One stop over at the Troy Racing pits to find Willy's childhood buddy Michael Willard, who produced a pair of handguards, that Willy even installed himself (mostly) by the time we got back from Dunlop! With fresh graphics, tires, hand guards, lowered sub-frame and front brake now in place...
... it was off to AMA Pro Racing's tech trailer, with non-mechanic Bob signing off on all of the paper work. A sticker here, a transponder there, a few quick checks under this and behind that and voila, instant IN for Round 9 of the Nationals.
Willy's been racing the Nationals and Supercross series for several years now. Having done most every round at some point, this year he was limiting the races to the most eastern stuff: PA rounds, Southwick, 'Dilla, Budds Creek and Red Bud. The #90 he earned last season was the first time he'd gotten a national number, and it took him 8 points to get it. To this stage of the 2010 series, he'd scored not a single point, so that was the goal this weekend - SCORE A FREAKIN' POINT! No pressure or anything.
Upon further examination of the bike, Willy felt that the rear brake pedal was too soft. He had a bleed/rebuild kit, but didn't know how to make it work. Since BOB was no mechanic, we lucked out when local (Ohio) legend Mark Weaver walked up with his son Matt, who was also racing. Mark IS a mechanic, and knew how to take care of the problem. Hurdle cleared.
One thing we hadn't done yet was go check out the track. Willy tries to walk a good bit of each track before Saturday morning, and he has to do it before the pitbike races that start around 6pm, so off we went on the bikes to pedal around the track a bit. A few minor layout changes and a whole bunch of new dirt that covered up most of the rocks, and he was feeling pretty good about things.
At this point, it was time to get ready for the pitbike race. Willy Browning is known for a lot of things in this world, but riding a pitbike better than just about anyone is probably what he's most well known for. With career sponsor CHP USA, who provide him with insanely fast KLX110-based bikes and funding to get him to and fro, it's also safe to say that he always has the best bikes on the track. The result? Pitbike racing at the Nationals has pretty much become the Willy Browning Show. For a helmet cam vid of moto one, click here: http://vimeo.com/14425757
All decked out and ready to go, when he starts up his pitbike everyone stops what they're doing. Off to the races...
...and we're done. Willy lapped up to 2nd or 3rd in each moto, and after a long conversation with MX Sports personnel, he realized he wasn't too big of a star to take care of a few administrative duties before each race. Live and learn.
Up bright and early the next morning for the 8:30 rider's meeting, there's a lot to do before practice starts...
Since Willy's usually a top-25 or so guy speed-wise, he gets to qualify with the fast guys in 250A practice. That gives him a bit of extra time, since they're usually the 3rd group on the track. He qualified 25th on this day.
After practice, the kid was all smiles, saying the track was fun and good, and that he felt really solid. This is a little unusual, since sometimes even the slightest bit of discomfort or ill-preparation can totally ruin his confidence, so to have him happy was a sign of good things to come for the day.
The #90 got a typically crummy start for the first moto, although not as bad as usual, and he rounded the track right around 18th-23rd the entire time. There are so many packs of equally-paced riders that there's some laps where a particular guy will go forward and back a few positions a lap. This time, Willy ended up squeaking by with a 20th place; a performance good enough for one point! That was it, the goal was accomplished and anything else would be icing on the cake.
Unfortunately, the cake turned out to be rotten. Toward the end of the 1st moto, it seemed like there were occasional puffs of smoke coming from the exhaust on the bike and he said it was losing a bit of power. After looking over the most obvious stuff back in the pits (remember, we don't really have a mechanic in this case, so tearing a head apart or pulling a motor isn't an option), nothing was apparently wrong. On the line for moto two though, it was clear - smoke was pouring out of the FMF silencer and oil was evidently making it past the ring and into the combustion chamber. There'd be no chance of points scoring for moto two, and with that...
...our weekend of racing was done. The transponder removed, Willy and Bob pushed the bike back to the pits and started loading up. While it wasn't a total failure of a weekend, it was definitely a bummer since he was clearly up the task of getting more points in moto two. That was to be the only point he scored for the season, so it's back to the good ol' #156 for next year for Willy B.
So there's a glimpse into the life of a fairly well-off and highly talented AMA Pro privateer motocrosser. Look for Willy Browning to be back on Honda CRF250R's for this year's Arenacross series, riding out of the Spinechillers Racing truck.
Buttrick Takes the Win, Mullins the Title in Indiana Enduro
GrindTV spends a day in Indiana to see what Enduro racing is all about.
It was KTM North America's young GNCC star Cory Buttrick who motored to the overall win on a cold, rainy Saturday in Indiana for the final round of the 2010 AMA/Rekluse National Enduro Series. After 73 miles and 6 test test sections, Buttrick edged out another GNCC regular - AmPro Yamaha's Charlie Mullins - to take the win, but it was Mullins who had the last laugh as he walked away with the overall series title after winning 6 of 10 rounds.
Buttrick came on strong in the final two tests to make up some time lost earlier in the day to Mullins, and as the rain continued to fall, he became faster and faster, making up a whole minute on the Yamaha rider who needed only a sixth place finish to clinch the title.
In what's been an unbelievable season of racing for Mullins, coming off a DNF at the 2nd round of the series to pretty well dominate most of the remaining rounds. Somewhat of a GNCC and hare scrambles specialist up until this year, Charlie has showed that he has the sprint speed necessary to put together 6 solid finishes on a long afternoon of changing conditions to beat the best in the business with the regularity of a seasoned veteran.
Also snagging a test victory was Mullins' teammate Thad Duvall, who was trying out Enduro racing for his first time. Obviously successful and fast enough to run with anyone in the woods, Duvall nailed 3rd overall, beating a couple of multi-time champions in the process.
KTM's defending champ Russell Bobbitt, shown here trying to figure out where his next turn is, was right there all day too, but ultimately was only able to muster a 6th place finish. Bobbitt ended up 3rd in points, being edged out by Buttrick by only two for second place.
Husaberg's multi-time champ Mike Lafferty rode well for 5th overall, finishing up a season that definitely had it's ups and downs. For his first year on Husaberg, Lafferty was able to snag only a single win, although he was typically on the podium every race and ended up 4th in points for the year.
The Matthews, Indiana course consisted of everything from open farmland and cornfields to grassy knolls to deep woods and rocky river beds. As the rain continued to fall, the conditions went from dust to mud, and the temperatures fell through the day to end up in the low-50's by the end of the event. Cory Buttrick (above) demonstrates proper grassy knoll technique.
Husaberg's Nick Fahringer heads across the river crossing by the famous Matthews covered bridge to begin the second half of the day's racing. The 73 mile loop was broken down into 6 sections (tests) that the riders attacked in groups of 4 set off at 1 minute intervals. Fahringer ended up 7th on the day and 5th for the series.We'll check out just exactly what an AMA National Enduro is later this week in our What Really Happened - suffice to say it ain't like what your Grampa used to race.
Results for the final round:
1. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
2. Charlie Mullins (Yam)
3. Thad DuVall (Yam)
4. Glenn Kearney (Hsq)
5. Michael Lafferty (Hsb)
6. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
7. Nick Fahringer (Hsb)
8. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
9. Andrew DeLong (KTM)
10. Josh Gaitten (KTM)
In the world of amateur motocross racing, there simply is no bigger event than the annual Loretta Lynn's Amateur National Motocross Championships. Held in mid-August near Hurricane Mills, Tennessee (about an hour west of Nashville) at Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch, the pinnacle of amateur racing has attracted the top talent in the sport for nearly 30 years. Getting to the Big Dance is not as easy as just paying the entry fee and lining up, though, as each and every one of the roughly 1400 riders on hand have gone through an extensive qualifying series at both the local and regional level to gain a coveted spot on the 42 rider starting gate at the Ranch. To put it another way - only the cream of the crop of amateur motocross racing make it here for the biggest race of the year, and a bigger stepping stone to the pro ranks does not exist in the world of motocross. Nearly every single top star in the modern history of the sport has "graduated" from the Loretta's event, and with such a significant and drama-filled week of racing just completed last week in Tennessee, we'll hit a few of the highlights for you (plus provide a list of champions and link to full results). Read on...
Every year, there's a total of 33 new AMA National Championships handed out over 99 motos of racing and 5 days of general mayhem. It's the center of the motocross universe for everyone from industry insiders and pro team riders and personnel to grandparents of young hopefuls who traveled down from the far corners of the country in pickups and sleep in tents all week. The actual feel of the event is more along the lines of summer camp than a big race, although with racing beginning at 7:30AM on the dot every morning it's not hard to remember why everyone's here. In the photo above, Matt Crown (who raced to an 8th overall in 40+) congratulates his son Joey, who managed two 2nd place overall finishes in the 65cc classes.
A family event through and through, a week at Camp Loretta's is a highlight of the summer for many, but it's an experience that's always spiked with a healthy dose of pain and discomfort, too. If one thing can be counted upon to put a 'damper' on things, it's the weather, and what that normally means is intense heat, high humidity and other-worldly thunderstorms that are almost unbelievable in their intensity. This year was no different. The entire state of Tennessee experienced record high temperatures for the entire week which, when considering how hot it's been here in years past, is mind boggling. To walk around the track at the ranch has, in the past, literally felt like walking into a blast furnace. This year, it was worse. The heat index on Wednesday reached 116, which is way beyond "safe" in anyone's book and for those riders who were able to put in consistent rides through each of their 3 motos, it was immediately clear who put in their homework and who didn't. The rain came on Thursday, right about when things were really getting good, and as usual it added to the drama as the racing was cancelled for the afternoon and part of the morning on Friday.
Getting down to the details, let's check out just a few of the top performers from the week. Kawasaki Team Green's Jason Anderson (#82, above) walked away from the ranch with the most prestigious prize of them all - the AMA Horizon Award. Given out to the A class rider showing the "most promise" heading into the national-level professional ranks, the Horizon Award has been award to nearly every top pro motocross racer ever in the U.S. National Series. Anderson earned his by completely dominating the first two motos in each of his two classes (250A/ProSport and 450A) and, despite dismal 3rd moto finishes, he was still deemed most likely to succeed by the awards judges. So what exactly happened in his final motos? In 250A, his KX250F simply went kaput, leaving him the New Mexico native to push it from the track, totally dejected at literally throwing a championship away. This no doubt lit a fire beneath Anderson to really make a statement and put a hurt to the rest of the field in 450A, and to make a clean sweep of all 3 motos to earn the title. Almost unbelievably, a poor start and THREE crashes in the FIRST lap of the moto left him way, way back in the pack (roughly 35th) and, with just 20 minutes to play catchup, he had his work cut out for him. Anderson passed his fellow A riders in large groups, often 3 or 4 at a time, to eventually make it just barely far enough toward the front into 5th to clinch the title. Even that wasn't a sure thing though, as Yamaha mounted Preston Tilford nearly took 5th back from Anderson at the line, leaving the title for Suzuki hotshoe Austin Howell who ended up winning the moto. Regardless, Anderson claimed the coveted #1 plate and moves on from his long'ish amateur career and into the pro ranks, possibly as early as Unadilla this weekend. Keep an eye on Anderson in the pro ranks, as he may make an impact as big as Dean Wilson did this year - he's that good. It is unfortunate that Anderson didn't get to face off against any of the Suzuki amateur stars, though...
...speaking of which, another outstanding performance by an A/ProSport rider was the week of racing put in by Rockstar/Suzuki amateur star Gannon Audette (#33 above). Audette, originally from the same neck of the woods as Ryan Dungey (Minnesota), has lived and trained in the heat of southern Georgia for a few years now, and his stamina proved to be a strong point all week long. Consistency and sheer speed were Audette's keys to success, as he won 4 of his 6 motos in 250A and 450A/ProSport, getting beaten only by teammate Ian Trettel (twice) in 250A where Trettel won the title. Both of those Suzuki stars, along with Austin Howell, should be in the mix very soon in this summer's Lucas Oils/AMA Pro Motocross Nationals but just exactly when is the big question. As of press time, only Howell was confirmed to be headed to New York, and he'll be aboard a Rockstar/Canidae Suzuki RMZ450. There was a bit of controversy about the choice for the Horizon Award and how it wasn't awarded to either Audette or Trettel. The consensus was, though, that Anderson's miraculous final moto charge coupled with a thus far nearly perfect week of racing was what clinched it for the Kawasaki rider. Regardless, it will be fun to watch these four top guns on the track together as they search for their racing legs in the pro ranks in the upcoming weeks.
When speaking of perfection, though, one need look no further than Team Green rider Justin Bogle. The only rider out of the 1400 or so on hand to win every single moto that he (or she) entered, Bogle went a perfect 6 for 6 in 250B Mod and 450B Stock, joining an elite few to ever pull off such a feat. What's even more remarkable about this is that Bogle, despite getting top level support for the last few years, is a relative unknown outside the world of national-level amateur racing circles. Long though to have the talent to pull off great rides, up until this performance in Tennessee, Bogle's been hit or miss at best at the top amateur races. Being teammates with such superfast riders like Malcolm Stewart and Dean Wilson on the Xtreme Team Green/Canidae team for a couple years certainly didn't hurt the Oklahoman get his speed up to par though, nor did being able to practice with fellow Okie Trey Canard and others on a regular basis. Bogle pulled it all together this year, that much is for sure, and he's now without a doubt the hottest property heading up into the A class next year. Typically this is when one could ask "with such a dominant B class performance, shouldn't he have been racing A already?" The answer is, at least according to laptimes throughout the week, is no. While certainly the fastest B rider of the week, Justin's laptimes were well behind that of the top A riders like Audette and Anderson. Look for an interview with Bogle later this week right here on GrindTV.
The above photo illustrates a few things for us: 1) The famous, flat, fast left hander at the ranch is always groomed to perfection between motos, and disced deep to attempt and minimize the speed at which the racers hit the first turn (read: safer). 2) Justin Bogle (#91) didn't need to nail a huge holeshot to outclass the rest of the B riders he was up against, namely Austin Politelli (#98), and Bogen Cochran (#50), who both finished top 3 in a couple of motos against him. One of the original goals for the Loretta Lynn's nationals since it's inception was to level the playing field as much as possible. This meant the track was to be used only once per year, and the starting gate/first turn area was to be as evenly matched from outside to inside as possible. This year, holeshots were nailed from nearly every point on the gate and first turn crashes were minimized, proving that the concept first conceived by the late Dave Coombs, Sr. and then Kawasaki Team Green manager Dave Johnson was a sound one.
Dropping down to the minicycle ranks, the top rider of the week was (arguably) Cooper Webb. One of very few top amateurs to race the 4-stroke Honda CRF150R in the Supermini classes, Webb's made a name for himself on the machine and continued his winning ways at Loretta's. Joining up with Joe Gibbs Racing (and pitting out of their rig for the week), Webb was impressive all week, coming from up front and from behind to win 3 of his 6 motos and beating or battling with all of the top mini riders in the nation. The word on the street is that he also did this on exactly ONE engine, which is all the more impressive considering that most of his competitors were swapping motors left and right in an effort to keep the Honda rider in sight.
Absolutely the most-hyped mini rider since... well, probably ever (save Mike Alessi), Florida's Adam Cianciarulo has been a superstar in the sport for years - and he's still only 13! Adam's always made a point of racing in a class above what he could (or should?) be racing in, and this year he chose to race only a Supermini, forgoing any time in the 85cc classes at all. What exactly went wrong with AC's week at the ranch can really only be answered by him, but speculation to his poor showing went from several blown motors to putting the wrong engine in the wrong bike at the wrong time, to him simply folding under the pressure of superior competitors. Adam had enough trouble in his first few motos that he completely packed-up and left by Friday morning's racing, which was a very surprising move that's yet unexplained: Did he leave because he didn't have the pace? Was it the bikes that didn't seem to want to keep together? Who knows, but it's certainly a week that Adam, Team Green and Pro Circuit would rather forget.
Another one of the few riders able to pull off a clean sweep of the motos in at least one of their classes was Oregon's Chris Alldredge. One of the best 85cc riders in the country for the past couple of years, Alldredge was perfect in 85cc 14-15 Stock, beating such notables as Team Green's Chase Bell, Suzuki-mounted Jordon Smith and Mod-class winner Steven Gretchen. He also nailed the victory at this past winter's US Open of SX in Vegas, which is quite an accomplishment on it's own, considering he beat Cianciarulo and a host of other top riders in the process. Keep a close eye on Chris Alldredge in the future, he's running the same path as Matt Bisceglia did before him, and that's cleaning up on his YZ85's.
That about does it for our roundup of this year's Loretta Lynn's Amateur National Motocross Championship. Not everything can be reported on, but we picked out a few of the highlights that, to us, looked to be significant. There's always more stories, always more drama, and there's a whole lot more great racing than we've provided here, so be sure to check out the links below for some other excellent coverage, including video, photos, interviews and blow-by-blow coverage of the biggest little race in the world.
2010 Loretta Lynn's Amateur National Champions
250 A / Pro Sport
450 A / Pro Sport
250 B Stock
250 B Mod
450 B Stock
450 B Mod
250 C Stock
250 C Mod
Collegeboy B/C (17-24)
Vet B/C 30+
Matt Tedder Sr.
51 (4-6) Stock Multi Spd
51 (4-6) Stock Shaft Drv
51 (4-6) AMA 1 Stock
51 (7-8) AMA 2 Stock
65 (7-9) Stock
65 (10-11) Stock
65 (7-11) Modified
85 (9-11) Stock
85 (9-11) Modified
85 (12-14) Stock
85 (12-14) Modified
Super Mini 1 (12-15)
Super Mini 2 (13-16)
Schoolboy 1 (12-16) B/C
Schoolboy 2 (13-16) B/C
Great starting point for general coverage:
Great high-quality day-by-day video coverage:
The Prince of Millville (if you don't count Alex Martin), Minnesota native Ryan Dungey once again made short work of a still very solid 450 class afor Round 7 of the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships. Under scorching hot sun and brutal humidity, everyone's fitness was tested to the max on a track that was unique, challenging, rough and fast. Apparently immune to all that is Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Dungey, who appeared to have absolutely no problem with either the track or anyone else who was on it with him. While the points leader did not get the holeshot in either moto, he had little trouble wearing down first moto leader Kevin Windham or second moto leader Andrew Short, as he stormed off to wins in each case. In true RC-style, Dungey seemed to work hard for the duration of both motos and kept the hammer down, pulling a huge gap of 40 seconds in moto 2 that no doubt made a statement about his fitness (as if it were in question anyhow).
Geico Powersports Honda's Trey Canard made it two overall wins in a row with his solid 2-1 moto scores that involved heated battles with both Dean Wilson and Christophe Pourcel. In the first moto, Pourcel and Canard went back and forth several times, swapping the lead and a bit of plastic as they beat up on the track trying to find the fastest way through. Ultimately Pourcel finished up front, but in the 2nd moto Canard quickly took the lead from Nico Izzi and attempted to check out. Dean Wilson more than kept him honest though, staying within a second or two for much of it before the rain started coming down and everything changed. Canard was still able to keep it up in the lead, which allowed him to move into 3rd in series points behind Pourcel and Wilson (dropping Tyla Rattray back to 4th).
The start of 250 moto 2 shows the great jump that Wilson gets over his half of the gate (he's just to left of center here), but also shows how well Canard and Rattray get off the line on the other side. It was Nico Izzi who held the early lead, though, before completely succumbing to the heat and humidity and pulling off just past the halfway point. Izzi wasn't the only rider to feel it though, as Josh Grant faced similar delirium in the 2nd 450 moto.
Spring Creek marked the return to motocross for Kevin Windham, and his debut on the Red Bull Honda Racing Team in the role of substitute rider for Davi Millsaps. His return was spectacular, to say the least, as he pulled a solid holeshot in the first moto and led eventual winner Ryan Dungey for most of the first half before dropping back to 5th at the end. Admittedly just plain tired later in the moto, Kdub was also quite gracious on the podium after the moto, where they pulled him up to get his take on the race. His 2nd moto went a bit better, where he ended up 4th after being passed by Kyle Regal late in the race.
Christophe Pourcel's series-leading style and speed was quite clear in 250 moto one, where he was involved in a heated battle with Trey Canard for the win. Pourcel's 2nd moto troubles continued, though, as the heat in moto one must have pushed the still not-100%-healthy Frenchman over the edge as he struggled throughout the race after a mediocre start. Falling way off the pace by the end of the muddy 2nd moto and immediately sat down to regroup. While his points lead is solid, losing by such large points margins to Canard while the #38 is very much coming into his own as a contender may lead to trouble later in the series.
Defending champ Chad Reed had a rough day at Millville, scoring zero points in his bid to successfully defend the title. After struggling around 5th for most of the first moto, Reedy eventually pulled off and never even got suited up for moto two, citing "neck pain" as the reason. There's been no official update at this point as to his status.
Josh Grant rode great in moto one, working his way methodically up into a 2nd place finish. Moto two seemed to be going similarly well despite getting penalized with last gate pick after being late, until he seemingly lost his mind and looked almost to be goon riding the last couple of laps, allowing several riders around (including Alessi) with no attempt to retaliate. It was later determined he was suffering the effects of heat exhaustion and that he was somewhat delirious when he pulled off the track. The Asterisk medic crew was immediately at his side to administer first aid.
Lucas Oil/TLD/Honda's Ben Townley had a fabulous 2nd moto going on before he rode off the track and coughed up the lead to Andrew Short, who'd been pushing him the first couple of laps. Ben's repeatedly proven that he has the speed necessary to win, but he's just having trouble keeping it on two wheels (or on the track) and has yet to pull off a moto win. He's 3rd in points, and went 4-5 at Millville.
Honda Red Bull Racing's Ashley Fiolek was able to pull off another moto win, but it was Jessica Patterson who walked away with the overall again which pretty much solidifies the title for her. The first moto was a barn-burner (as is often the case between these two ladies), as they swapped the lead a couple of times and then each of them crashed or went off the track, handing the front position back to the other. The women will not resume their WMX series until mid-August at Southwick.
With the adoration of his hometown crowd, Ryan Dungey's domination of the 2010 season continues down the home stretch. Winning by over 40 seconds is certainly an indication that he plans to not only beat everyone, but to stomp them into oblivion as the season winds down. The only potential threat for individual moto wins at this point appears to be from a rider who's rumored to be coming back at Unadilla in a few weeks - James Stewart. Check back here for complete coverage.